Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

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mediumbird
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Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby mediumbird » 14 Oct 2020, 8:35pm

I wonder if anyone can advise me of an issue I have when riding a flat bar hybrid or mountain bike, compared to my road bike set up? I’ve had a bike fit on my road bike and am happy with the set up on that, however every time I ride my hybrid or MTB my quads are screaming at me from the get go. It just seems that quads are struggling in the position I’m in. My seat height seems ok, so I’m thinking maybe seat too far back? Anyone got any ideas? Or is it just that I’m used to my road bike position as do most of my miles on that? It kind of puts me off using the other bikes..... :? Many thanks. Louise

pwa
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby pwa » 14 Oct 2020, 8:40pm

Using a spirit level or plumb line, try to measure how far behind the bottom bracket your saddle tip is. The bottom bracket is the bearing that the pedal arms (or cranks) are attached to. Try to make it the same distance on all bikes as it is on the bike that feels right.

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Paulatic
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby Paulatic » 14 Oct 2020, 9:00pm

If your quads are screaming then it suggests you might want the saddle back or lower or a bit of both. Remember going back can raise the height.
How have you done your measurements to transfer to the other bike? Are the crank lengths the same? Starting from your set back is crucial and you can measure it as the post above. Or my preferred way, as a plumb bob always seems to wave around for me, is put the back wheel against a wall and measure to your BB and measure to tip of saddle and do the maths.
I bought a flat barred bike last year and set it up exactly the same as my drop barred bikes. It never felt right and I had to fiddle for a while to get it feeling right. I’m not sure where I’ve ended up but when I’m in my bike shed tomorrow out of interest I’ll run a tape measure over it and see where I ended up at.
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mediumbird
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby mediumbird » 14 Oct 2020, 9:30pm

Thanks for these tips, I’ll try them tomorrow. I set the seat height the same as my road bike, but reach was a bit harder because of the straight bars. Not sure re crank lengths, my road bikes are 170, but don’t know about the others.

peetee
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby peetee » 14 Oct 2020, 9:42pm

It could just be that you don’t spin the cranks (Cadence) quite as fast as you would on your road bike so your muscles are pushing harder for any given speed. High cadence on a mountain bike can often lead to bouncing as the tyre and/or suspension deforms in time with your pedal action and the natural reaction to this is to reduce your leg speed by slowing down or changing up a gear.
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531colin
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby 531colin » 15 Oct 2020, 1:05pm

The muscle groups you use to pedal a bicycle are probably the three biggest muscle groups in the body; glutes, hamstrings and quads.
I don't mind finishing a ride tired, but if at the finish you have one muscle group screaming and the others untouched, there is something wrong.
Moving the saddle back will take some load off the quads and redistribute it to the glutes and hamstrings.
Moving your feet back on the pedals (ie.cleats forwards) will have similar effects.
Are you using cleats (or toeclips) on the road bike to fix your foot position and not on the hybrid/MTB so that your feet are further forward on hybrid/MTB? (forward foot position loads quads.)
Similar thread here...https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=140444
NB before you move anything, mark, measure, photograph

Brucey
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby Brucey » 15 Oct 2020, 1:22pm

mediumbird wrote:.... Not sure re crank lengths, my road bikes are 170, but don’t know about the others.


commonly MTBs are fitted with 175mm cranks and so are many hybrids.

That might be your problem?

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mediumbird
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby mediumbird » 15 Oct 2020, 6:25pm

531colin wrote:The muscle groups you use to pedal a bicycle are probably the three biggest muscle groups in the body; glutes, hamstrings and quads.
I don't mind finishing a ride tired, but if at the finish you have one muscle group screaming and the others untouched, there is something wrong.
Moving the saddle back will take some load off the quads and redistribute it to the glutes and hamstrings.
Moving your feet back on the pedals (ie.cleats forwards) will have similar effects.
Are you using cleats (or toeclips) on the road bike to fix your foot position and not on the hybrid/MTB so that your feet are further forward on hybrid/MTB? (forward foot position loads quads.)
Similar thread here...https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=140444
NB before you move anything, mark, measure, photograph


My quads are hurting from the get go, not at the end, and particularly if I have to put a bit of effort in going uphill.....which makes me think something definitely wrong with the set up. I only use flat pedals on my hybrid and mtb but use spd on my road bikes, so I can imagine my foot position on the pedal is also going to be different. I might try putting on an combo pedal that allows me to use ordinary shoes as well as spds. (Anyone got any decent recommendations?)
Today I measured the saddle set back compared to my road bike, and have put it back about a cm. went for a short ride and it seemed better. Also raised the saddle very slightly. I just need to try it on a longer ride over the weekend if I can.

As regards the differences in crank lengths between the bikes-not sure what I can do about that. I’m not that mechanically orientated :lol: ps. I’m 5’7” so not sure what the optimum crank length for me would be..?

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Paulatic
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby Paulatic » 15 Oct 2020, 7:31pm

The crank length is significant if they are 5mm longer then you’ll need the saddle 5 mm lower.
Used my tape measure this morning out of interest. The straight barred bike was set up similar to my dropped bikes a year ago. It didn’t feel right, a lot of that was to do with the bars, so I went freelance and fiddled. Never measured since but discovered the only real difference I’ve made through fiddling is set back is a further 10 mm back. No idea why but coincidentally it puts the distance from saddle to favoured hand position at exactly the same length as drops set up. I run the same model saddle on all bikes so no difference there.
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531colin
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby 531colin » 16 Oct 2020, 11:54am

There is an extensive thread here https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=141537 about pedals with one SPD side and one flat side.
But if you have one or more road bikes with SPDs why not just swap a pair of SPD pedals onto your MTB or hybrid and see how you get on?
(Once you have the reflexes to unclip from SPDs I can't see the point of riding anything else, but that argument will run and run.)

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531colin
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby 531colin » 16 Oct 2020, 12:00pm

Paulatic wrote:.........the only real difference I’ve made through fiddling is set back is a further 10 mm back. No idea why but coincidentally it puts the distance from saddle to favoured hand position at exactly the same length as drops set up....


I don't think thats a coincidence at all!.

mediumbird
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby mediumbird » 16 Oct 2020, 5:31pm

531colin wrote:There is an extensive thread here https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=141537 about pedals with one SPD side and one flat side.
But if you have one or more road bikes with SPDs why not just swap a pair of SPD pedals onto your MTB or hybrid and see how you get on?
(Once you have the reflexes to unclip from SPDs I can't see the point of riding anything else, but that argument will run and run.)


I suppose because I use my hybrid to nip to the shops and my MTB to ride approach tracks to hill walks in my mountaineering boots. I could just swap the pedals over and see how I get on though..... My road bike I use for my longer rides and touring in.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Advice re mountain and hybrid bike set up

Postby The utility cyclist » 16 Oct 2020, 6:05pm

Have you ever thought about stretching out before you even get on the saddle? Also, MTB is obviously going to be significantly harder work than a road bike, if your quads are hurting straight away I'd say you need to warm up your muscles first.